The District of Sicamous is taking steps to get the fire-damaged remains of the former Extreme Power Sports building demolished.
Last week, municipal council supported a recommendation by staff to impose a remedial action requirement on the owner of the property at 1305 Rauma Ave. The building was severely damaged in a May 6 fire, and is considered by council to be in an “unsafe condition, which creates a significant risk to health and safety.”
In a report to council, district community planner Mike Marrs explains “written complaints have been received by the district about the unsightly nature of the building and the spreading of contaminated debris, ash and dust onto adjacent residential and commercial properties.”
“Further, despite the erected fencing, it is obvious that vandals are being attracted to the building, resulting in exposure to serious personal injury,” writes Marrs. “This exposure and safety concern will continue and increase given we are entering the fall/winter patterns.”
As per the community charter, the property owner 30 has days after receiving notice of the remedial action requirement to demolish and remove the building, including its foundation. However, the owner has 10 days to appeal council’s decision.
“They have 10 days – typically, the charter says 14, but because of the state of the building, we consider it to be an urgent matter…,” said Marrs. “Council can listen to their appeal and then you can decide to agree with them or to stand behind the decision you make tonight. So that decision is up to council.”
In August, Marrs said he’d spoken with the building’s insurer, and confirmed the demolition contract had been awarded to a local contractor.
“We’re just waiting for signed authorization from the owner so we can issue those. It will be done fairly quickly,” Marrs told council at that time.
However, in his report, Marrs says application fees and a refundable damage deposit for the demolition permit have not yet been paid. He says staff had been advised by the underwriter/adjuster that funds for the demolition had been requested, and the purchase order contract for the work issued but, upon a second inquiry, found no funds had been issued by the insurer. The district has been unable to get a timeline from the adjuster.
Marrs’ report also notes staff spoke with the owner of Extreme Power Sports Inc., Jason Stutzke, on Sept. 8, who said he also wants to see the building demolished and cleaned up as soon as possible, “but is not in a position to fund the expense to complete the work.”
Asked who would pay for the demolition, district interim administrator Tim Palmer explained when there is failure to comply with a remedial action order, the district will proceed with remedial action, and that the work would likely be tendered out. Related costs would be added to the property taxes and, should the property owner default, the property would be subject to a tax sale.
“The intent of the remedial action order is to get compliance with the demolition,” said Palmer. “Most of the time remedial action orders are issued, the landowner will comply with that. In the event that isn’t successful at motivating, then we have those options and we’ll have further dialogue with council at that time.”